2022 Volume 64 Issue 1 Pages 53-68
Fifteen Chinese college students with internet addiction from one urban site in Guangdong Province participated in individual face-to-face interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis was conducted using an inductive approach to identify and examine the patterns emerging from the data. The results showed that self-identity of Chinese college students with internet addiction included four themes: complex and discordant self-other relationships, low recognition of their role as students, multiple negative personality traits, and unclear self-concept. All respondents identified self-other relationships as an important component of self-concept, with parent-child relationships being the most critical sub-theme. The self-identity of internet-addicted college students was generally characterized by a negative emotional tone, and the themes covered were similar to those of the general population except for “unclear self-concept.” In a particular cultural context, one’s name may be an appropriate answer to the question “Who am I?” in reflecting self-identity.